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Read Bjork's2001 interview with Juergen Teller from the index archives.

Kathleen Hanna discusses writing and making music in this interview from 2000 with Laurie Weeks.

Isabella Rossellini spoke with Peter Halley in this 1999 interview.

Check out our interview with Crispin Glover by Richard Kern from 2000.
Alexander McQueen's 2003 interview with Bjork.

Stephanie Seymour, 2002



Stephanie Seymour is a complex woman — a Victoria’s Secret icon, an art lover, and Axl Rose’s ex. She’s a mom, a high-fashion model, a collector of vintage haute couture, and the wife of the larger-than-life publishing magnate, Peter Brant. Lately, she’s also spent some time as photographer Juergen Teller’s muse.
More, Teller’s new book, features Seymour in her own clothes, photographed in and around her homes in Connecticut, New York, and Palm Beach. Late last year, Seymour phoned us from Saint Moritz, where she was on holiday with her husband and three young sons. She filled us in on one of the most enigmatic and intimate series of photographs we ever expect to see.


ARIANA: The pictures in More were taken over the course of two years. How did you and Juergen start working together?
STEPHANIE: I met Juergen right after I had my youngest son, about five years ago. He was taking pictures of me for American Vogue, and I understood what he wanted right away. That’s always been important in my long-term working relationships with photographers. I need to understand what a photographer wants so I can push myself in that direction. It’s the worst when you have no idea what someone wants, and they say, ’Oh, do whatever.’ A photographer is a director whether he likes it or not.
ARIANA: A few years ago, Juergen shot you at home for W. He told me that you came up with the idea for that story.
STEPHANIE: I had mentioned to an editor at W that I wanted to do some pictures at my house with my collection of vintage couture. W suggested Juergen.
ARIANA: That story made such a splash when it came out. It felt like I had been invited to peek in on your life. Did you know it was going to be that intimate?
STEPHANIE: I was really excited about it. I hadn’t worked with Juergen in a long time, and I didn’t know what to expect. I had pulled out all of these clothes that I wanted to shoot, and I’d arranged them. As soon as we took the first picture I was like, “Oh my god. This is going to be unbelievable. This guy totally gets it.” We just connected. W ran around thirty pages, but we had many more pictures. We couldn’t stop. That’s why we decided to do a book, and that’s why it’s called More.
ARIANA: How did you wind up in the pool?
STEPHANIE: I just dove in. [laughs] We had been trying things around the pool and nothing was working — we were really tired. I was wearing a Zandra Rhodes dress, but after being photographed by Herb Ritts in couture dresses under waterfalls, I had no fear.
ARIANA: Were you involved in selecting the images that ended up in “More”?
STEPHANIE: It’s Juergen’s book. He showed me everything, but I didn’t want to be involved in the editing. I would have picked totally different pictures. I didn’t want it to be a vanity piece. I wanted to be the subject, the actress that he was capturing.
ARIANA: Was it mostly just the two of you when you were shooting?
STEPHANIE: Yeah, we did a lot of the pictures by ourselves. Like the one of the Pink Panther and me. I did my own hair and make up, and my son kept coming into the room and asking if he could do my make up. Juergen was laughing.
ARIANA: He has a mischievous streak.
STEPHANIE: Juergen has the gift of seeing. I always tell him that. He picks up a camera, sees something, and can take a picture of it.
ARIANA: How did you choose the settings? Did you just decide that you really wanted to get on top of that Koons Puppy one day?
STEPHANIE: That one we planned to do. We had done other pictures that day that didn’t work out — really weird pictures. So we waited for the sun to go down and I went up in an apple picker and climbed on. You know, I was really high in the air. Then Juergen got in the apple picker himself — that’s how he got above me. It’s funny because people either love or hate that image. People feel that way about the whole book actually — a lot of people hate it.
ARIANA: Hmm. Why?
STEPHANIE: Because they don’t feel that I look beautiful in it. It’s incredible the reaction that I’ve gotten from different people who are close to me. They think it’s too rough. I just look at it as a mini-film.
ARIANA: The pictures seem to be commenting on your sexuality in a very layered way.
STEPHANIE: Women are complex. I wish I were not as complicated as I am. But what I like about the pictures is that they show sides of me that most photographers never even bother to look for. I’ve been photographed so often in the same ways, and I’ve done it for so long. I appreciate that Juergen took the trouble to see beyond that, to see beyond my skin. For me, that’s sexy.


© Juergen Teller


© Juergen Teller
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